The area is covered in saguaro, a large, tree-sized cactus.
Many different cacti along the trail, including this hegehog variety.
Some of the saguaro are more than 150 years old.
I enjoyed the flatter areas of the trail near the beginning very much...
I even enjoyed the flat, gradual inclines to an extent...
The rocky parts of the trail slowed me down quite a bit.
The early morning temps in the canyon shadows were perfect.
The scenery was gorgeous, and probably slowed me down a bit as well...
The canyon remains narrow, but offers a different view with every turn.
As I moved up the canyon, I crossed this streambed more than a few times.
I tried not to pick up too much speed and get tripped up on the down hills.
Every type of plant along the trail seemed to have thorns or needles.
It was very hard to concentrate on my footing with so much beautiful landscape.
Once the sun peaked over the canyon walls, it started to get warm quickly.
I wanted to go farther and farther after a view like this.
The shadows seemed to disappear once the sun was above.
For a brief moment, the trail would dodge in and out of a few shady areas.
The predominantly grassy landscape leveled off again after a few switchbacks.
The trail levels out at the top of this ridge, although becomes rather narrow.
After some near vertical trail, one side ends up with a very steep drop off.
There are some awesome views from this area, showing how far I have come.
If you made it this far, you might as well see my route mapped out on Dailymile: